Most working Australians have a superannuation fund (and sometimes more than one) where money is deposited by their employer (and sometimes topped up by the worker). The purpose is to provide an income in retirement. Generally, the idea is to leave all the money in there and access it upon retirement.
REST Super changes its rules on early access to super
REST Super have recently announced that they will finally allow members early access to superannuation on grounds of financial hardship.
Your superannuation is usually locked up until you retire after age 55 or 60.
However, the superannuation laws allow you to get early access to at least some of your super in limited circumstances such as terminal illness, permanent incapacity or to pay mortgage repayments.
The most common ground is financial hardship which means if you can’t pay for your day-to-day expenses and you have been on Centrelink payments for 26 consecutive weeks, you can get up to $10,000 per year out of your super balance if your superannuation fund agrees.
Until recently REST, one of the biggest funds in Australia, blocked financial hardship releases of super. This forced members to consider transferring their superannuation to another fund to get early access.
But from now on, if you have money in REST and have been on Centrelink for 26 weeks, you may be able to get early access to some of your super on grounds of financial hardship.
If you have a disability it will be very important to check whether you might also have a claim for disability benefits. If you’re unable to work more than 15 hours a week due to injury or illness you may be entitled to a Disability Support Pension (‘DSP’).
Call Berrill and Watson for FREE advice about your rights and entitlements in relation to superannuation; from early access to TPD claims and income protection claims or whether you might be eligible for the DSP.